The Democrats in the Senate got their balls back, but alas, Obama already shriveled them. The Democrats seem to understand that a president with less than 2 years left in office (yay!) with fast track trade authority might lead to a Republican with the power to make trade deals that will destroy Democrats’ union cash supply. In just 6 months after an election where they complained that Republicans filibustered everything out of spite, the Democrats filibustered a bill out of spite, even while the president spearheaded its passage.
Of course, Barack Obama has been whining himself. He went to Georgetown today to complain that FOX News made poor people look bad and even made him angry with their antics. What FOX (and no other media in many cases) did was show what happens when there is no government oversight of programs that give stuff away.
Michelle Obama kicked off the week with her commencement about the problems only facing Black people, like having grandparents. She also complained about resumes being ignored because of a person’s name. Of course, the First Lady used to be Michelle Robinson, one of the Whitest names there could be. Still, she didn’t get that six-figure job turfing poor Black patients until her last name was Obama.
I came upon this quote recently:
We have to put a stop to the idea that it is a part of everybody’s civil rights to say whatever he pleases.
The man who said this also criticized Christianity, preferring the strength of purpose in Islam.
He was Adolph Hitler.
Hitler doesn’t end an argument, but there’s not a lot of room for people who want to limit free speech while claiming to support it. There are specific limits to speech. Yelling “fire” in a crowded theater for the purpose of causing a panic and putting people in danger has no informational value and a high probability of injury. While fighting words is a legal concept, what constitutes a permissible provocation is about as specific as the definition of pornography.
One of the things that I like about “The Matrix” movies is the portrayal of an age-old argument about the human condition. All the people in the Matrix are (relatively) safe. They’re actually sitting in pods being fed from tubes, but they think that they’re in 1999 Big City, USA. In the sequels, it is stated that the Matrix started as an ideal paradise, but people couldn’t accept it and broke out of the Matrix simulation. So, instead, they are subjected to the drudgery and misery of everyday life.
This is a fundamental argument. Do you seal everyone up in bubble wrap and keep them from conflict or do you rage against the dying of the light. I’m not spending my days jumping from planes, but I certainly don’t mind poking the bear, metaphorically. The Muhammad drawing contest was almost literally poking a bear, but the Boston Marathon was not. The difference is that one group though they were safe, but the other knew they were not. That, and only the terrorists died last week.
Unlike Adolph Hitler and other liberals, I don’t think the problem is what people do, but if they are prepared to fight for what they believe.
I’d put more effort into writing tonight, but I’m going to watch the mercy killing of the show “Revenge” tonight. Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers out there.
Oddly enough, James Franco got involved in the McDonald’s war when he wrote an op-ed about how the fast food restaurant hired a kid with no skills and a spotty job record. Along with stories of grabbing a quick bite of unsold food or being propositioned by a guy through a translator, Franco accidentally made an important point. Minimum wage jobs are the bottom of the employment ladder. McDonald’s and others offer ascending career paths, but they know most of their employees will not stay for the next five years. Franco stayed less than one, booking a Superbowl ad. He was still grateful that McDonald’s allowed him to pursue acting and wished for their success in getting out of the diminished sales they see now.
Liberals were predictably not happy about advocacy for a low wage job. Their world view is that McDonald’s puts employees on illegal shifts, pays illegal wages and serves illegal food. It also seems like every worker is trying to get 40 hours to support their families by flipping burgers. That may be the case. If it is, however, it means that person is less qualified than everyone else making more than they are. It’s a harsh reality. I faced it for a few years working low wage jobs.
Not surprising, liberals think in a false reality. In NYC and LA, $15 an hour may be scraping by. In other parts of the country, $30,000 a year is a good job. Even worse, Obamacare has changed the game. By nearly doubling salaries, these workers would now be subject to paying the full price for health insurance as well as losing an earned income credit on federal taxes. On the plus side, their increased taxes will feed the giant rusty machine that is government.
In the modern world, the US is still pretty capitalist, if not all that free anymore. We have government health care where the feds want to know all about our coverage, but still capitalist enough that most of us have to pay a lot for it. I would say that the current administration has done more to get us to socialism than any president since LBJ. His campaign staff of marketing people decided to bring their evil to the UK this year to game their supposedly inferior political system. They learned the lesson the US hasn’t. There is a limit to socialism, and this was it.
David Cameron, instead of squeaking by, roared with a newly empowered Conservative majority. Labor was hit hard as other right-leaning minor parties decimated them. The Daily Mirror, responsible for this gem in 2004 when Bush was reelected, was dumbfounded the point of simply printing “Five More Damned Years” in white letters on a black page.
The bad thing about socialism is that it promises the world to people. The good thing is that it can’t deliver. The tipping point is when enough people figure out the latter. I hope the US catches a case of sanity from our former rulers next year.
Among all the hate and criticism directed at Pamela Geller for defying the wishes of a death cult, Chris Cuomo of CNN still managed to cross the line where even Salon.com decided to school him. Cuomo cited what he called the “Chaplinsky test,” based on a court case in 1942. Walter Chaplinsky was handing out pamphlets on a Saturday afternoon, criticizing religion and calling believers “racketeers.” Even though a crowd gathered and started to become unruly, he claimed that his calling a police official a fascist was what go him arrested.
Applying the Chaplinsky test to the atheists and socialists on the left, who frequently call everyone who disagrees with them a fascist, would ironically get them all arrested. Still, it seems that the “fighting words” concept of non-protected speech is something to hang their hats on. First of all, anyone who calls what Pamela Geller says “hate speech” should be aware that speech is not a crime. A hate crime is still a criminal act without the “hate,” so suing the inflammatory term “hate speech” only makes one sound like a fascist.
More importantly, fighting words are a direct provocation. Chaplinsky said his words directly, to a person directly in front of him. Geller did no such thing. The fighting words came from cowardly Imams on the internet who said that death was the punishment for drawing a graven image of a guy who wrote a book about revenge. Geller responded, not by fighting, but by drawing a line against intimidation and asking other people to draw Muhammad.
If the “fighting words” test means anything, it is that there are verbal provocations that a reasonable person cannot be expected to ignore. For decades, Christians have been told to ignore many blasphemies. Should we, for example, fault Lou Costello for saying “Niagara Falls” because a crazy man considers them fighting words?
One of the current topics in the presidential race is immigration and the current near amnesty practiced by the White House. Unlike Republican candidates, Hillary Clinton is clearly on the side of citizenship for all on the premise that it will bring people out of the shadows and raise wages. This is different from the complaints she had years ago about illegal immigrants standing on street corners taking jobs from Americans.
Immigration politically conflates two separate issues. How do foreign people get into this country and what do we do when they get here? The 1986 amnesty promised that people who were already here would get legal status and new people would be let in on an as-needed basis. What actually happened was that every illegal alien got amnesty, a new underclass of illegal workers slipped through the border and any baby delivered within the US border had lifetime citizenship.
Comprehensive immigration reform is the same process. The easy part is the green light to make illegal immigrants legal. Obama was able to do that with a pen and a phone. The second part where we enforce border security with technology, people and strategic barriers, costs a lot of money and makes a lot of people mad. Most politicians right now want to hand out dessert before dinner, not caring if we ever eat our peas.
Democrats used to be divided on the issue, but the Obama regime has pretty much beaten down those who want security. The Republicans are divided, however. The “pro-business” wing wants a ready source of cheap labor. Libertarians think that more labor makes for lighter work. In a libertarian paradise, this might be the case. If you were from Mexico and work dried up, libertarian government would have no safety net. You would simply have to leave. We live in the actual world, however, where government makes life more difficult when there’s a minimum wage and welfare spending taking more of it in taxes.
Immigration is a great idea, but it must be tempered with reason. Today’s technology allows us to verify the status of people instantly. Drones and cameras allow us to see in darkness as if it were daylight. Putting up a wall does not make us a bad country. People trying to jump the fence to get out makes a bad country and almost everyone is trying to get in the United States. We need to make them do it through the front door.
Two time losers are pretty unlikely to get a presidential nomination, much less win the White House. In the case of the Republicans, the party leadership is so incompetent Ronald Reagan had to run for the nomination 3 times before they caught on to what they had. Reagan lost after a couple of ballots to a guy who lost the general election (Nixon in 1960) and a guy who wasn’t even elected when he became president (Gerald Ford, the first to not be elected as President or Vice President in a general election). The GOP actually considered Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, two of the worst presidents, superior candidates.
Mike Huckabee chose to keep his powder dry in the probably un-winnable Republican challenge to Obama in 2012. Now, he’s throwing his hat in the ring with a mostly open field. He’s a minister, a weight-loss survivor and proposes a national sales tax in lieu of an income tax, not in addition to one. Liberals don’t like him, the Tea Party doesn’t much care for him and the GOP is still obsessed with the idea that Jeb Bush is a force of nature who will easily take it all.
I will say that Huckabee is likable. Not by me, I see politics like Cypher saw “The Matrix.” I think they’re all problematic.
I also know people who just liked the guy, generally liked what he had to say and didn’t see him as slimy as other candidates. On a political level, I think it’s good to have a social conservative in the race. I’m not as libertarian-loving as some and have no problem with legalizing Judeo-Christian values. If he gets steamrolled, at least we know where the electorate stands.
It is forbidden to create an image of Muhammad. The punishments for such an act are so severe under Sharia law that few would do such a thing in the Muslim world. Make no mistake. The reason why images of Muhammad are not drawn is because of the fear of death, not out of reverence.
That’s what is being exported to the United States. Most Americans wouldn’t get out of Muhammad’s way if he were walking down the street. We have freedom of religion in this country and about 99% of us don’t choose Islam. We can show respect for other religions by not being provocative in a location of worship or a congregation of believers, even though we have a right to be. History has shown that we do not defer to other faiths in the public square. We have both the freedom to believe what we want and to say what we want about any beliefs.
I have no idea the percentage of people who secretly wished for violence at a Draw Muhammad event at Garland Texas. It may even cross the political spectrum. The left may have been correct that such an event was a provocation, but conservatives were right when they argued that Muslims were suing violence as a tool to enforce their superiority. That’s another thing. These people were not so distraught about pictures that they snapped. They shot at people because terrorism is the enforcement mechanism of Islam. It’s what political leaders and religious leaders around the Islamic world use. Moderating our actions because of violence is literally letting the terrorists win.
The organizer of the event, Pamela Geller was grilled by formerly sane Fox anchor and currently brainwashed CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota. One claim was that the event was unnecessarily provocative.
I would argue that such a thing is necessarily provocative. We need to shout loudly that terror will be met with more messy freedom. If Muslims want us to stop drawing Muhammad, their best bet is to shut the hell up about it and hope we get bored. In this country, being boring is the way to make something unimportant.
Baltimore, MD highlighted a major problem. It is not that cops are racist. It is not that schools don’t get enough money. It is not that these cities have been abandoned and allowed to fall into disrepair. Cities and districts and states are all legal constructs. The Federal and state government define their borders. Ultimately, the only thing that differentiates them is their political leadership. In Baltimore, it is all Democrats.
Here’s a little history. Republicans decided that ending slavery by amending the Constitution was a process they could expand on during the 20th century. Democrats became the party of conservative moderation. When less progressive Republicans took office in the 1920’s, Democrats decided to try to out-government the GOP. We ended up with decades of FDR and Truman, dictating everything to America and the world. That ended with a backlash. Republicans gained control of Congress and Eisenhower was elected. Industry returned, unions flourished, the deficit was being paid down. Even taxes were over 90% in the top bracket. You would think a liberal would be happy.
Democrats needed to change the game. They got some first term Senator elected who is most famous for being cool, not getting the world blown up and getting shot. The worst was yet to come. Lyndon Johnson was the worst kind of Texas cowboy. He threw Americans at a badly-run Vietnam War, strong-armed the Congress into voting his way with threats and bribes and came up with ways to pay off voters with “free” government programs.
What happened next is something of a chicken and egg argument. Government tax rates went down (a little) after the 1950’s but state taxes went up. Programs like Medicaid required some contribution from the states. Expanded Social Security led to higher income taxes. Union wages and an increasingly competitive global market coincided with moving manufacturing out of the United States. Thus began the death of the big city unskilled job.
Joblessness led to poverty which led to crime. The simple argument is that people who have no money need to steal. Of course, necessities are rarely stolen. When someone has no good job and a lousy home life, there is no compelling reason not to steal or commit any other crime. Increased policing led to more confrontations. Those led to riots. People with something to lose soon saw the need to leave the most crime ridden neighborhoods. This was referred to as “White flight.”
An interesting phenomenon emerged. Generational poverty created districts where the economy was heavily based on government assistance. As the population became more heavily African-American, those neighborhoods became strongholds and power bases for Democrats. A densely populated blue city could turn a state “purple” and with a little effort, to the Democrats in a national election.
The formula is simple, but carefully controlled. People in those cities must have enough to survive, but not to have any chance to make it out of their situation. If they think it’s not enough, blame the Republicans. If there’s crime, blame lack of jobs because Republicans are against unions. If there’s a confrontation, blame racism. During election season, make sure you have early voting so you can target each voter until they relent so you can win the presidency.
That’s how you use a city. It’s just not the way to save a city.